Oakland Raiders: Penalties a Key to Sunday’s Win over Pittsburgh

For years, the Oakland Raiders have been the laughingstock of the penalty category in the NFL, and to be honest, it was always for good reason.

The Raiders were the king not only of the undisciplined penalty, but also the dumb ones, such as after-the-play personal fouls and the like.

As coach after coach came to town in the past, each one said they would emphasize the need to limit the penalties. And then coach after coach was fired after not changing anything.

So when new head coach Dennis Allen came to town and said he wanted to limit the penalties, the Oakland fans who have been around for a few years smiled, nodded their heads, folded their arms and thought, "we'll see about that."

After Week 1, things weren't exactly swinging in Allen's favor.

Sure, he had limited the number of penalties to just six (only a success if you're a Raider fan), but a pair of stupid offside penalties remained in the forefront of everyone's mind.

As Week 2 came to be, many, like myself, decided to give the penalty game one more shot to see if Allen had cracked down at all during practice.

Five penalties for 42 yards; not bad.

Suddenly, the Raiders were moving towards the league average in penalties.

And then, Week 3 happened.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town, a physical team that has incited some extracurricular activity from the Raiders in recent years, expectations were low for how well the Raiders would do in the penalty department.

Turns out Allen must have a better grasp on this team than we thought.

The Raiders committed just three penalties for 25 yards on Sunday, and not coincidentally, earned their first win of the season.

In a game that came down to a last-second field goal, the Raiders needed every yard they could muster to beat the Steelers, and their ability to refrain from shooting themselves in the foot was critical. Article Source: Bleacher Report - Oakland Raiders